1. Heat two tablespoons olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Sauté onions for five to six minutes, until golden brown, then set aside. In the same pan, add remaining two tablespoons olive oil and sauté mushrooms for four to five minutes, until tender and lightly browned. Season with garlic powder, then combine rice, onions and mushrooms. Set aside and let cool.
2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash fish and pat dry, then place in baking pan and season with salt and pepper. Spread one tablespoon apricot preserves over each salmon fillet. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Let cool, then flake salmon and combine with rice mixture. Let cool.
3. Next, prepare the purses. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Unroll phyllo dough, leaving the layers of dough stacked. Use a sharp knife to carefully cut a seven to eight-inch circle through all the layers of dough. Using two stacked sheets for each purse, place 2 tablespoons salmon and rice filling into the center of the top sheet. Gather phyllo dough just above the filling and tie with 2 chives. Gently fan out the top of the purse, then place onto baking sheet. Freeze for 10 minutes before baking to set the shape.
4. Spray with cooking spray, then bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Keep a close eye to ensure they do not overcook.
5. To serve, garnish with spinach and halved or quartered figs. If the chives look limp from baking, switch out to fresh or blanched chives and retie before serving. Serve warm.
6. Prepare rice according to package directions.
I recommend Bonne Maman apricot preserves because it is natural and has just the right amount of sweetness.
Editor’s Note: According to the OU guidelines, fresh figs can be inspected for insects in the following manner. Wash the figs and examine the exterior surface. Then, slice into quarters. Examine the inside of the fig for webbing or obvious signs of insect damage.